Anuj Puri – Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants

At a time when technology is disrupting different industries across the world, the consumer-facing property brokerage industry cannot be far behind.

Real estate was among the first marketplaces in India to attract and justify professional brokerage services, and took off in earnest on the back of increasing need to connect renters and homebuyers with relevant suppliers.

Today, the real estate brokerage industry is on its next leg of evolution, leveraging technology as a competitive advantage. Indeed, technology is rapidly becoming the key differentiator for real estate consultants across market segments, especially the residential sector.

Getting ‘real’ – virtually

Let’s take a rather obvious example – that of ‘virtual tours’. Via this tech-enabled medium, real estate consultancies help prospective buyers, renters and investors to visually navigate the interiors of various properties on their computers or smartphones.

True, Indian residential property continues to be a ‘touch-and-feel’ marketplace in which personal site visits are more or less de rigueur.

However, providing customers with a virtual tour of various options,